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Sully and Force are two big-time Vancouver Canucks fans with unique nicknames that are only overshadowed by what they wear to games. You may know them simply as the Green Men, as they donned nothing but skin-tight green bodysuits to a dozen Canucks games last season.
The Green Men often secure seats right next to the opposing teams’ penalty box at Rogers Arena. When an opponent is penalized, they do their best to try to rattle the player through the glass — mock crying, headstands and dancing. The amusing duo has been featured on Sports Center, national hockey broadcasts and the local news, and they’ve made appearances at dozens of local events.
They’ve even been called the Canucks’ secret weapon.
The Green Men keep their real identities secret, but they are not shy from speaking to the media or making public appearances. With the puck about to drop to start the 2010–11 season, Force and Scully took the time to answer questions about their Green Men past, what to expect this season and a whole lot more.
Q: What gave you the idea to wear the suits?
Force: There is an actor named Charlie Day who wore a green suit on a show called “It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” We saw it and thought, I wonder if that would work at a sports event!
After seeing the "Always Sunny" episode we discussed going to a Seattle Seahawks game. We bought tickets and we were going to go on December 20th, but Sully's green suit didn't arrive in time. So after getting over our initial disappointment we decided to go to a Canucks game on the 23rd against Nashville, and the rest is history.
Q: More than 50,000 fans on Facebook, numerous appearances on local and national newscasts, highlight shows -- the list of your growing exposure goes on. Are you guys ever shocked about how popular you've become?
Sully: It has been a blast. We never thought it would get this big. To be honest, it was supposed to be a one-time thing. Our goal was to go to the game against Nashville, have some fun, maybe get on the JumboTron once or twice and then disappear forever. During the game, the Predators’ Dave Scatchard took two penalties and both times we taunted him. The second time he threw a towel over the camera so the fans couldn't see us. The next day he got sent to the minors and didn't play a game the rest of the season. We kind of feel bad, but not really!
After the game ended, the crowd reaction was so great, and we had several media requests, so we went to another game on Boxing Day. The fans have been awesome and they have kept us coming back.
Q: How do you get those great seats, considering the Canucks have sold out every game since 2002?
Force: Sully used to work for Burrard Roofing and Drainage and they have season tickets. After a little bit of sucking up, his old boss was kind enough to give us some tickets, and he has been very generous and given us seats whenever we have wanted to go.
Q: Has the team comped your tickets yet?
Sully: The Canucks were a little hesitant of us at first. I mean who wouldn't be? We are two goofs in green suits. But as our fan base grew, the Canucks were very supportive of us. While they haven't given us season tickets, which we'd love, we did some promotional work for them in exchange for tickets to Game 1 against Los Angeles in last year’s playoffs.
Q: Why are Canucks fans so passionate?
Force: Our city is so starved for a Stanley Cup that I think we cling to every game like it is a must win. It creates a great atmosphere for Vancouver. I don't think you will find another NHL city that is more passionate, and you definitely won't find another city with two green guys! That speaks to passion!
Q: In the offseason, we saw you at a BC Lions game, a triathlon and a slew of other events. How can you keep up such a hectic schedule? Even the Canucks take some time off between seasons. Right?
Sully: We have said from the outset that our goal is for the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. It didn't happen last year, so just like the players, we have to keep in game shape. The triathlon was great for training and the Lions game was good practice for bugging the opposition. If someone wants us to come out, have fun and liven up an event we always try and do our best to accommodate. It's tiring work, no doubt, but it is the responsibility of being a Green Man!
Q: It's just a few weeks before the puck drops for the 2010-11 season. Any predictions?
Force: Mike Gillis [the Canucks general manager] has made some strong moves this offseason that definitely have improved our team. If the Canucks were ever in a position to make a deep Stanley Cup run, this is the year. And lucky for them, they have to green guys to help them out.
Q: What are you most looking forward to when you get back inside Rogers Arena?
Sully: Talking with fans. Definitely. They are awesome, and we are always up for stopping and taking a photo. Their passion towards the team pushes us to do more and more over-the-top things. We also can't wait to square off with some NHL players again this year. Hopefully poor Dave Scatchard manages to avoid the box this season.
Q: Can we expect anything new tricks from you two this season?
Force: We are always in training, planning our next stunt. It might be hard to top our Vince Vaughn cut-out, because we were told he wasn't too happy about that, but we are always trying to push ourselves creatively to come up with the next big thing that bugs the opponent! All we can say is we will have a surprise or two in store.
Q: How many home games will you make this year?
Sully: We are keeping that close to the vest -- or I guess, green suit.
Q: Any travel plans this season?
Force: We are thinking about making an out-of-town trip. We have to be careful though as it is always a little sketchy entering enemy territory where two green guys are outnumbered by 18,000 screaming fans!
Q: So at the end of the season, your spirit, green tights and occasional penalty-box antics will result in a how many extra victories for the Canucks?
Sully: The Canucks will be great this season, and with our help probably an extra three to four wins are in the cards. Who knows, that could be the difference in winning the conference championship.
Q: Wearing these suits must mean bathroom breaks are difficult and enjoying the concession stands is near impossible. Do you ever miss just being a normal fan?
Sully: Missing out on an intermission "adult beverage" is always a little tough. Force hasn't made it out to a game as a normal fan since two seasons ago, but you know what? Being a Green Man is much more enjoyable, and we both have a blast. We just wish we could see a little better.
Q: Any tips you can offer a for a first timer coming down to Rogers Arena for a game on how they can become a super fan, even if they are not willing to wear head-to-toe tights?
Force: The true Canucks fans are in the upper bowl. They are passionate, loud and care about the team. Our goal this season is to get the lower bowl more involved. Too often, it is suits who are buried in their Blackberrys and don't even watch the game. If you are coming down to watch a game for the first time, have fun, cheer on the Canucks and get into the game!
Q: If the Canucks win the Stanley Cup...
Force: Our goal from the beginning will be complete. Go, Canucks, go!